The Center on Saturday notified the transfer of Tripura High Court Chief Justice Justice Akil Qureshi, who was at the center of a two-year standoff within the Supreme Court Collegium over the appointment of judges as the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court. Court. In addition, eight judges were elevated as chief justices of various high courts on Saturday.
The Naveen Bharat had earlier reported That the decision to transfer Justice Qureshi to the “larger high court” was one of several decisions taken in the collegium meeting last month.
Justice Qureshi, whose parent high court is the Gujarat High Court, was not included in the list of nine recent appointments made to the Supreme Court in August despite being number 2 in the all-India seniority list for judges of high courts.
The collegium’s hesitation in recommending his name led to an unprecedented impasse on appointments, which lasted for nearly two years. Former SC judge Rohinton Nariman, who was part of the collegium, who had insisted that Justice Qureshi’s name be recommended before any other name, retired on August 12. A week after his retirement, the SC collegium sent 9 names to the government, which was accepted within two weeks.
Justice Qureshi was appointed the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court on November 16, 2019 and his term ends on March 6, 2022, if he is not elevated to the Supreme Court.
During his tenure in the High Court, Justice Qureshi delivered two important decisions which were an embarrassment for the then Narendra Modi government in the state. In 2010, he quashed a trial court order and granted two-day custody of Amit Shah, the then Gujarat Home Minister and now Union Home Minister, to the CBI in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. (In 2014, Shah was acquitted in the case by a special CBI court.)
In 2011, a bench headed by Justice Qureshi upheld the then Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal’s decision to appoint former High Court judge RA Mehta as the state’s Lokayukta. This was opposed by CM Modi.
Justice Qureshi was expected to become the Chief Justice of Gujarat when the post as the senior-most judge of the court fell vacant in November 2018. However, Justice AS Dave was named Acting Chief Justice and Justice Qureshi was transferred to the Bombay High Court, where he would be fifth in seniority.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court Justice Inderjit Mahanti has been appointed as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court.
In addition, the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice Mohammad Rafiq, has been sent as the new Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.
Justice Vishwanath Somadder, heading the Meghalaya High Court, has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court. Justice AK Goswami, the head of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, has been made the head of the Chhattisgarh High Court.
Eight judges were also elevated as Chief Justices of various High Courts.
Acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Justice Rajesh Bindal was elevated as Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court. According to a list published by the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry, Justice Ranjit V More of Meghalaya was made the Chief Justice of the same High Court.
Acting Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, Justice Satish Chandra Sharma has been elevated as Chief Justice of Telangana High Court.
Justice Prakash Srivastava of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has been made the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court.
Acting Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court Justice RV Malimath will now be the Chairman of Madhya Pradesh High Court.
Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi of Allahabad High Court will preside over the Karnataka High Court. Similarly, Justice Arvind Kumar of the Karnataka High Court was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court.
Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra of the Chhattisgarh High Court has been made the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
(With inputs from ENS and PTI)